6 Takeaways from Game of Thrones: Season 8 Episode 4

May 6, 2019
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Obviously the true #1 takeaway from this episode is to throw out your damn trash. This season allegedly cost almost $100 million to make. Pay someone to make sure there's not a coffee cup in your shot. That said:

1) The funeral and feast ran the gamut of Game of Thrones emotions. There was weeping for those we’d lost, drinking to celebrate a hard fought victory, and Tormund asking which coward sh*t in his pants, because apparently all of his Season 8 lines came directly from Twitter parody accounts. The joy felt fragile from the start, and that was before we realized how badly everything was going to go. I honestly felt hollow and broken at both the start and end of this episode. Can’t believe we only get to ride this emotional rollercoaster twice more you guys!!!

2) Jon sounded very kingly in his funeral speech for someone who DOES NOT WANT THE THRONE NO SIR. And when it comes to Jon’s true identity, he chose truth and honor over strategic partnerships: that is a very Ned Stark thing to do, even if Jon’s choice to share who his real parents are was the exact opposite of what Ned did. Jon said all his goodbyes (Sams are always the best friends anyone can have, just ask Frodo), including to Ghost (really thought there'd be some show of affection for his beloved direwolf but apparently there was no CGI budget for that), and left Winterfell for what honestly felt like the last time. As they say, I have a bad feeling about this. 

3) Here’s all the new people who know Jon’s secret: Arya, Sansa, Varys, and Tyrion - none of whom we actually got to see receiving the news! How do they all seem to be feeling? Arya is no one’s lady (sorry Lord Gendry) and was probably planning to leave Winterfell behind regardless of the AeJon revelation. My gut says nothing has changed about her feelings towards him. She has bigger fish to fry and queens to (potentially) stab. Sansa has learned that information is currency in this world and does the strategic thing - and what she believes is the right thing for her people - by sharing it. It's just a little strange that loyalty to her family comes in the form of betraying Jon’s trust. Varys also​ claims to be acting in the people's interests, but there's something suspicious about his shifting loyalties... and let's not forget that like Melisandre, he is supposed to die in this strange country. So this time, his machinations may cost him. And Tyrion still believes in his queen - or the idea of her, anyway - to the point where it’s seriously affecting his judgment. I don't know if he'll ever be the cleverest man in Westeros again - or how much longer he'll survive either.

4) When Dany was bummed to see Jon’s friends celebrating his ability to ride a dragon, even though SHE LITERALLY BROUGHT DRAGONS BACK TO LIFE, I felt that. It’s tough being a woman in a man’s kingdom, being called emotional all the time, no one validating your accomplishments or listening when you give logical advice about hiding your true parentage. Dany has suffered tremendous losses over the last two seasons - many of them because she trusted her advisors. With Jorah gone and the true heir being hailed as a hero, she already seemed to be teetering into Mad Queen territory, even before Euron killed poor Rhaegal and the Mountain executed sweet, innocent Missandei. Now Dany is justifiably ready to scream "Dracarys" in Cersei’s general direction - if those nasty scorpions don’t get to her last dragon first. How did they make so many so fast? Time moves so strangely on this show! 

5) Oh Jaime and Brienne. For the briefest of moments, it really seemed like they (and we) had a chance at happiness... just kidding, this is Game of Thrones, that was never gonna gonna happen. Maaaybe if she'd chosen Tormund, but that whole pants-sh*tting thing was probably the last straw. A broken heart might be a worse fate for Brienne than dying with honor on the battlefield. “She’s hateful, and so am I,” Jaime says of Cersei, and here's my take: he hates himself for loving her, hates that his love keeps him from truly being happy... and hates her even more. I don't think that means he’s going back for her. I think it means he’s GOING BACK FOR HER. They came into this world together: Jaime might have finally decided they need to leave this world together. Her first. 

6) As for Cersei herself, she's mostly just been staring out windows since we last saw her, I guess. And finally deciding to manipulate Euron even further by telling him that Jaime's baby is his. Men sure do stupid things for women, right Sansa? I hated that she (and the show a little bit tbh) put Missandei back in chains. That final scene was just brutal. Tyrion is clinging to the idea that Cersei is not a monster, and this is an old idea. It just makes her a more sympathetic villain if you imagine there’s a shred of humanity left in her. But this is a woman who destroyed an entire Sept full of innocent people to get rid of her enemies and shrugged off the suicide of her last child. She showed you who she was the first time. Cersei is the original Mad Queen, and she needs to go: it's just a matter of who does it at this point. (Also how dumb is Euron that Tyrion is like “please surrender for the sake your baby” and Euron isn’t like “HEY HOW DOES HE KNOW ABOUT THE BABY WAIT A MINUTE WHAT'S GOING ON HERE")

Final thoughts: That Bronn scene was weird. Wish we got more time with the Hound and Arya. Grey Worm is about to unleash hell. And I truly have no idea why this episode was named "The Last of the Starks." While we ponder these things and more, check out last week's Sock Puppet Theatre episode - and be on the lookout for the next one!

 

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